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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

124                                   FLORA  INDICA.
humid climate, and is therefore most appropriately noticed
here. It attains its greatest elevation to the southward, and
is broken up, by considerable depressions, into two or more
separate masses, of which the southernmost may be called
the Travancor range, whilst to the northward it is continued
as the Nilghiri, Kiirg, and Nagar mountains.
TRAVANCOR.—The mountains of Travancor form an iso-
lated mass at the extreme south of Malabar, which they se-
parate from the districts of Tinnevelly and Madura, in the
Southern Carnatic. They are completely cut off from the
mountains on the north (Nilghiri) by a remarkable depres-
sion, in 11° N. lat., which is fifteen miles wide, and is oc-
cupied by the western portion of the district of Coimbator.
The Travancor group of mountains thus presents a striking
analogy to the island of Ceylon in position and outline. The
main chain runs southward for 150 miles to Cape Comorin,
with occasional deep depressions, and terminates in a bold
precipitous mass, 3-4000 feet high, within three miles of the
Cape itself. The Travancor mountains are loftiest at the ex-
treme north of the district, where they stretch east anci west
for sixty to seventy miles, separating the districts of Dindigal
and Madura, and rising into peaks of 8-9000 feet, which
overhang the plain of Coimbator; and they retain an elevation
of 5-6000 feet throughout their extent to the southward*
They are generally very precipitous, and undulating or rounded
grassy ridges seem to be of common occurrence at 6-7000
feet. Of the deep depressions that intersect the Travancor
range, and by which communications are kept up between the
districts which it divides, that of Courtalain, in 9° N. lat., is a
well-known botanical station, which, though on the eastern or
Carnatic side, from its peculiar form and situation, is under
the influence of the south-west monsoon, and enjoys, together
with the rest of the province, a deliciously cool r*ud equable
climate* Notwithstanding the perennial humidity, the rain-
fall at Courtalam is only 40 inches; on the hills around,
however, it is doubtless much greater. The Pulncy or Palnai